Saturday, February 27, 2010

Habits and Power

I realized that in the year or so since I began using Twitter, I have changed my blog habits. If I read an interesting news article online, I will often quickly send out a link via Twitter. But then I don’t necessarily follow that up with a blog post. Readers of my blog (either regular - Thank you! - or serendipitous - Welcome!) are not all the same folks who I interact with over on Twitter. Because of that difference, I want to remember to share some of those items back here on Pink Granite.

With that in mind, I read a very interesting article on MSNBC a couple of days ago: “Interval Training Can Cut Exercise Hours Sharply; Intense, brief workouts twice as effective as other regimens, experts say”. Once upon a time, when Chuck and I were exercising regularly, with intensity and in a goal oriented way, we learned of the advisability of such interval training. We called what we did “power bursts”. During our walking, we would count down 3, 2, 1 and then really pick up our pace (including punching out with our arms) to a count of ten or twenty or thirty or sixty. After the power burst we would resume walking at our original pace. We would repeat this several times during our walks. To be absolutely clear, in no way am I comparing ourselves to elite athletes. Ha! To the contrary, I was working hard at losing weight and increasing my strength, stamina and overall health. Chuck was going along with me mostly in support of my efforts, but he too reaped the same benefits. What I am convinced of, is that whenever we worked our power bursts into our routines, we progressed more consistently toward our goals. And if we had reached one of those maddening plateaus, increasing the power burst strategy, kicked us down to the next level.

The astute (or merely conscious!) among you will wonder why I wrote “Once upon a time”. Darn you attentive/conscious readers! Simple answer: we fell off the exercise wagon. We continued to walk, which is clearly better than not walking. And we continued to have fun with seasonal snowshoeing, cross country skiing and Carriage Trails in Acadia. But pushing ourselves with our walking, incorporating power bursts, lifting free weights and close attention to what we were eating, well, not so much. As a result, we lost a lot of the strength, stamina and overall fitness and relocated too much of the weight. Sigh... So, since last Autumn, we’ve been gradually focusing our attention back to doing what works. That has recently shifted into higher gear, which is why the Interval Training article jumped out at me, why I Tweeted it and why I have written this post!


Anonymous said...

And your point?... LOL

Here, in Santa Fe, there's been a lingering snow induced winter - and folks have fallen off their 'imagined' healthful routines.

Guilty! (hands raised).

Don't feel bad!

"Guided by the Ancestors"

Pink Granite said...

Hi George -
Oh, no point, no point at all!

The only problem with winter hibernation for us, is that Chuck and I both hate hot and humid weather. So if not now, when? Yikes!
- Lee

Kate said...

Why exercise when I can be drinking a Starbucks mocha latte while surfing the internet? Why go low fat when I can make goat cheese stuffed chicken breasts? Why drink light beer when there is a bottle of bourbon nearby?

Ever since my metabolism hung a permanent vacation sign on my backside about 10 years ago I have embraced my gluttonous ways.

Just kidding, healthy is good.

Pink Granite said...

Dearest Kate -
Now I know why they invented the shorthand LOL and ROTFLMAO!
You are a stitch and a half!
- A.L.